Support Persons

Trusted people play essential roles in supporting people with communication and/or decision-making situations.  A trusted person may be a family member, friend, service provider, support person or anyone that the individual chooses to assist them with communication and/or making decisions.

  • Negotiate and document your role with the individual you are supporting. Determine if you are a communication assistant, an advocate, an interpreter or a combination of these roles; or if you are supporting the individual to make a decision or making a decision on behalf of an individual reflecting their known will and preference.
  • Ensure that you use techniques that maximize the individual’s authentic communication and input into the decision-making process.
  • In a formal situation, inquire about signing a confidentiality agreement with the individual and/or professional.
  • Prepare any communication tools (picture boards) that the individual may require in the decision-making situation.
  • If assisting with decisions, use a decision making approach to explore preferences that may inform decisions such as Taking Mats
  • Acknowledge, honour or negotiate the individual’s choices and decisions.
  • If applicable, support the individual to put a power of attorney in place if they become incapable and require someone to make decisions on their behalf.

Supplemental Resource:

Communication Assistant Course